It’s always nice to learn about food waste in a country we don’t often hear from. Today, we see a study on food waste in Finland.
Three quick thoughts on the report:
Finns waste less food than most Europeans/North Americans.
Finnish households produce more waste than any other sector (30-40 percent of the waste). But…I’m not sure if the study accounts for farm level waste. Food grown but not harvested usually tops home waste, but isn’t always counted in these studies.
I love how the study transforms food waste into its environmental impact. About 1 percent of Finnish greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste.
In another kind of challenge, Squawkfox is touting a $55 million Food Waste Challenge. The Canadian site is hoping its 37,000 readers commit to reducing their household waste to save $1,500 each. Definitely worth squawking about.
And finally, Aramark (minus the caps lock) toots its own trayless horn. Encouragingly, removing trays from all-you-can eat facilities is pretty much the norm.
April 20, 2012 | Posted in General|Comments closed
The Biebs recently trimmed his food demands in his tour rider, demanding less dressing room food at each concert venue. Perhaps the pop star made the change as a result of his mounting eco awareness. Or maybe it came in response to said rider being published on The Smoking Gun. (Four loaves of bread does seem a bit much.)
No matter the reason, seeing this quote appear in Seventeen, where it’ll reach plenty of adoring girls, is neat:
“Recently, there were so many things in my rider that went to waste, so I took a lot of things off my rider. Every day we were buying all this stuff and it was just sitting there. I got rid of it, I didn’t want to waste all the food.”
April 16, 2012 | Posted in Events|Comments closed
This just in from ConAgra, who illustrate that no detail is too small to consider, especially when you’re producing food on a large scale:
Plant leaders worked with Quality Assurance to determine that excess flour used to prevent dough from sticking to rollers could be repurposed. The new process will save 96.2 tons of safe flour from heading to a landfill annually.
In 5 or 10 years, the answers on how technology will help avoid food waste will seem obvious (and I have a sense that tech will be implicit in all future waste reduction). But for now there are only guesses. What’s yours?
April 4, 2012 | Posted in Technology|Comments closed
I recently spoke to an engaged food studies class at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC). The course, known as Eats 101, is an honors seminar on food and culture in the program in Food, Agriculture and Sustainable Development.
After talking about food waste for a bit, I asked the students for their ideas on reducing waste. Since their answers were so sharp and this was at a public university, I thought it only fair to share their ideas. Here are some highlights, organized by subject area and without editorial comment from yours truly.
Form better relationships with more people to sell directly to them
Create a local need database to link farmers with the needy. (This sort of exists with Ample Harvest)
Rebuff Farm Lobby so US Ag policy doesn’t only focus on commodity crops
Improve irrigation technology (minimizing the impact of food waste)
Avoid visible “sell-by” dates to minimize confusion with “use-by” dates.
Reduced prices for imperfect goods and items near their “sell-by” date
Institute a reward system for buying these goods
Move away from the idea that a store can never run out of anything
Cut down on choices/# of items
Serve fewer menu items and aim to use similar foods in apps and mains
Be seasonal and local (to avoid shipment and kitchen shelf loss)
Offer choice of small, medium and large portions
Don’t be afraid to run out of food–it seems more exclusive!
Market food waste reduction efforts
Give discount for bringing own leftover container
Plan meals ahead and make a shopping list
Use the entire animal, whenever possible
Hold neighborhood leftover potlucks–other people aren’t sick of your leftovers!
Create neighborhood listserv for sharing excess food/ingredients
Write a recipe book for creative reuse of foods
Redistribute on the run–make two sandwiches in the morning and give one to someone in need.
April 2, 2012 | Posted in College|Comments closed